Parker continues his attempts to befriend Renn. Earlier this week, I thought he had gone too far.
My big boy was lying in the saddle of the taller cat-tree in the bedroom. Parker was on the ledge under the window, peering outside. Renn had no problem with this situation; he had acquiesced in it on previous occasions. I, for my part, felt no qualms in leaving them alone.
But when I was in the sitting room, I heard a screeching, squealing, yowling fracas, and hurried into the bedroom to find Renn lying in the cat-tree, his ears back, his fangs bared - and rather miffed. Parker was huffing and puffing - which he does when he is worked up - off to the side. I immediately started talking to the two boys, petting them and trying to calm them down.
I have no idea what caused such a commotion, though I have a clue from the fact that Renn was angry and upset, while Parker was startled and almost contrite. I believe that, recalling how he had lie down next to Renn on the sitting room couch the previous day, Parker thought it only natural to do so on the cat-tree. After all, Renn had voiced little objection on the couch, right? Well, climbing into a saddle of a cat-tree, which is filled already with a large cat, a large cat nervous about the proximity of another, newer cat, is rather different than lying beside him on a couch. This was not a fight; there was no fur flung, there were no injuries. I did think, however, that any possibility of friendship between Renn and Parker was over.
The next day, however, I was relaxing on the couch in the sitting room. Renn was in the opposite corner, just a foot and a half away. Parker jumped up on to my lap. I was just a stepping stone, however: a few minutes later, the orange fellow slipped off and lie down next to Renn. My big boy stayed.
As may be seen from the accompanying photograph, Renn was hardly comfortable with the situation. Parker, on the other hand, seemed to think things were quite pleasant. The promising aspect is that I left after about ten minutes, and both cats remained for another ten. Renn dropped to the floor after that, with no fuss.
Clearly, he is willing to tolerate Parker’s closeness under certain circumstances. Under others, he growls at him. But that doesn’t concern me too much; I am less discouraged by such behaviour than I am encouraged by the fact that the two will lie together, touching each other, even after a melée like the one in the cat-tree saddle. The sitting room couch seems a neutral ground, and I will foster further attempts at agreement there, as well as at other locations that seem to exert a positive influence. Who knows where the next stage to friendship will be?